BALTIMORE — The Yankees escaped from Camden Yards with their American League East lead intact, and as a bonus, slugger Curtis Granderson worked his way out of an annoying slump.
Granderson homered and drove in five runs, and New York beat the Orioles 13-3 on Sunday to regain sole possession of first place and split the season series.
The Yankees lead the Orioles by one game with 22 left. The four-game split drew 173,572, 40,346 for the finale.
"The bottom line is we're in first place," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "The one thing that you want to be able to do is just rely on your club. You don't want to have to rely on other people."
The teams battled to a 9-9 draw this season. If they are tied at the end of the regular season, division record will be the tiebreaker.
"We'll try to make it not matter," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.